It cannot be denied that some women cannot breastfeed, at least not exclusively which is why you must learn the main reason moms fail at breastfeeding.
It is considered rare for a woman to generate a low supply of breastmilk. It is recommended that mothers will give nursing a try after the delivery of the baby but be ready to supplement with a bottle of infant formula in case it is not working for you.
A close look at the main reason moms fail at breastfeeding
When it comes to the main reason moms fail at breastfeeding, it varies for each mother. Rarely, there are conditions in which it is not desirable to breastfeed. Let us now take a close look at some of the reasons why it is not recommended for some mothers to breastfeed.
True low breastmilk supply
The main reason moms fail at breastfeeding might be a low supply of breastmilk. It is important to note that only a small percentage of women who want to breastfeed cannot due to a true low breastmilk supply or lactation failure.
If a true low breastmilk supply is the cause, it is naturally the result of an underlying health condition. Luckily, with proper treatment, some issues can be fixed so that the mother can establish a milk supply for her child. Nevertheless, certain problems cannot be fixed.
Let us now take a close look at some of the causes of true low milk supply.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Insufficient glandular tissue (hypoplastic breasts)
- Previous radiation treatment for breast cancer
- Previous surgical procedures on the breasts such as mastectomy or breast reduction surgery
When a mother has a true low milk supply, it might not be possible to exclusively breastfeed the baby. The child should be provided with infant formula or donor breastmilk to satisfy the majority of his/her nutritional requirements.
Nevertheless, breastfeeding is known to offer more than just nutrition, so you can still put the baby to the breast. Many babies and even older children continue to breastfeed for security and comfort. Even if a mother has limited milk supply, any amount that is given to the child is beneficial to his/her overall health.
Instances in which breastfeeding is not suggested
There are instances in which a mother is not advised to breastfeed her child. This might be the main reason moms fail at breastfeeding.
A mother should not breastfeed if infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The virus can be transmitted to the child via the milk. Those who develop an infection with the cytomegalovirus and hepatitis C can still breastfeed. Nevertheless, it is not advisable if the nipples are sore or split.
The human T-cell lymphotropic virus 1 (HTLV-1) is known to trigger the development of lymphoma and leukemia while the human T-cell lymphotropic virus 2 (HTLV-2) can lead to lung and brain problems. Both can pass to a baby via breastmilk.
If a mother has any form of ailment that is infectious in nature, it is vital to a doctor. The consultation should involve the possible risks and options for breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is not recommended if the mother is receiving radiation in any form. You cannot breastfeed your child for some time before the radiation treatment or after being near an individual who is undergoing radiation treatment. It is important to note that radiation is considered a serious health risk to the child. If this is an issue of concern, it must be discussed with your doctor.
Using medications that can pass into the breastmilk
Based on a current study, the majority of medications and immunizations are safe to use during the lactation period. Sadly, it is not wise to nurse the baby while using medications without consulting a doctor first.
Some medications can pass into the breastmilk and can be detrimental to the baby such as chemotherapeutic drugs, antithyroid medications, and some mood-altering drugs.
Consult the doctor first to check whether the drugs you are using poses as a problem. Do not forget to talk about any vitamins, supplements, herbal remedies and over-the-counter drugs being used.
Alcohol or drug addiction
Breastfeeding is not recommended if the mother has an alcohol or drug addiction, especially if still using alcohol or drugs.
Women who smoke can breastfeed but you should not use one at least 95 minutes before every feeding. This will help lessen the nicotine or other chemicals present in the milk. Make sure that you will not smoke around your baby as well. The best approach is to stop smoking so that you can breastfeed your baby without any worries.
Medical conditions that do not allow breastfeeding
Certain conditions might be the main reason moms fail at breastfeeding. Let us now take a close look at these conditions.
Hypoplasia of the breast develops once the mammary glands and tissues do not develop normally. This is one of the medical reasons not to breastfeed. Women who have this rare condition often end up with breasts that cannot generate enough milk.
Although mothers with serious ailments are allowed to breastfeed under certain conditions, it might not be healthy for the mother and her baby. It is important to discuss any health conditions that you have or at risk for with the doctor before deciding to breastfeed.
Breast reduction surgery
For women who had breast reduction surgery, there is a good chance that you will have a low supply of breast milk and cannot nurse exclusively since the breast tissue that was removed included the milk glands and ducts. Take note that this leads to insufficient glandular tissue. Even those who had undergone breast augmentation might have a low supply of breast milk.
Postpartum depression or anxiety
Although the mother is physically capable of breastfeeding her child, studies reveal that there is a connection between the two. This does not necessarily mean that breastfeeding can lead to postpartum depression or anxiety, but it can be counted as an additional stressor.
If the mother is handling any psychological disorder, it is vital to discuss the risks of breastfeeding with the doctor. The mother should not feel guilty or distressed if there is a need to stop. Remember that the mental health of the mother must be considered as a priority as well.
Alternatives to breastfeeding
For mothers who cannot breastfeed exclusively, some options can help ensure that your baby receives his/her required nutritional needs for proper growth and development.
Pumping with formula
For mothers who have difficulty generating adequate milk or simply need a break from trying, pumping supplemented with formula is a good alternative to try. A breast pump is a handy tool that will help you fill and store milk as well as allowing you to maintain your flow during times when your baby is formula-feeding.
Although the choice to switch from exclusive breastfeeding to formula can be a sensitive issue for mothers, most babies adjust to a baby bottle without complaint. Always remember that snuggles, intimacy and the bonding rituals with your child are still vital whether he/she feeds from the breast or a bottle.
Depending on the main reason moms fail at breastfeeding, there are alternatives such as pumping supplemented with formula or formula feeding that can provide the nutritional needs of your little one to ensure proper growth.